It used to be conference calls that moved people. Literally. It was such a call in July, 2009 that moved me from Greenville, NC to Charleston, SC. “Goodbye, ECU. Hello, College of Charleston.” (for a short but sweet time.)
By 2018, it’s, “Goodbye, conference calls. Hello, video.” Yes, you too will now become a video star to further your own career, no matter what it is.
Whether you interview for a new position, present an early-stage pitch, or participate in a key meeting, video is faster, cheaper and more convenient than meeting in-person. Yet it remains more personal than merely talking on the phone. Skype/Zoom/Meet interviews let you speak face-to-face (body language!) without the need for travel or blocking off an entire day.
Video, whether messaging or conferencing, is a communication channel you want to completely master (this can be a competitive advantage for you!) In other words you want to look as professional, calm, and authentic as you really are – with or without the camera.
Video Makes You More Visible
Distributing video recordings of yourself to people on your team, across the organization and outside is a visibility-building tool with HUGE potential.
If you’re an executive who is somewhat introverted, you can take advantage of video to connect with more people at a personal level in a way that conserves your energy. For example, Mike Caputo, Academic Medical Center and Health System CIO at MUSC, consistently distributes video-recorded “Minute with Mike” episodes to keep everyone up to date with what he is doing.
(If you’re interested in using video for emails, I use Vaetas, conveniently located in Charleston. For webinars, conferencing and video meetings, I use Zoom.) Beyond a doubt using video helped me more than double Mixonian Institute revenues this year. Some of my corporate clients are nailing video with the result of becoming much more visible in their companies.
As with any meeting, you want to prepare well. Preparation causes confidence. (Is Your Message High Resolution can help you prepare precisely.)
Get crystal clear on what the purpose of this video recording is before you hit “record.”
Eye contact is another confidence cue. Remember the camera is now the other person’s eye!!!
Clear Out Visual Clutter
Lee-Anne Scalley Edwards, owner and boss of culture-based recruiting firm, One In A Mil knows all about nailing that juicy job interview. Her take on killing a video performance in the job interview process is this:
Close out of all of your browsers and silence your phone!
You only have one chance to knock this out of the park! Take this interview as seriously as you would an on-site interview. Times have changed, efficiency is key. Be sure to close out all of your other browsers so you can eliminate all distractions for both parties. There is nothing more annoying than the constant interruption of Gchat, Facebook, LinkedIn, or a phone ringing screaming some Louis Fonzi, “Despacito,” in the background.
Think your video interview set-up all the way through and prepare like you have a lot to lose. Because you do.
Director of HR at Visiture, Kat Corona, says to treat the video interview just like an in-person interview. Dress up, be a few minutes early, make sure your space is presentable in the background, and keep all distracting noises on silent.
Angie Avard Turner, an intellectual property attorney for creatives has clients all over the country. Here are her top tips for looking good and sounding great!
1. Dress appropriately–Solid colors, nothing too busy. You want folks to pay attention to you, not what you are wearing.
2. Hair, Make-up, and Accessories–less is more. Don’t over do it in this area; again, you want folks paying attention to what you are presenting not being distracted with your appearance.
3. Posture–sit up straight, don’t slouch (your mother’s advice WAS the best.)
4. Setting–make sure the setting in which you are filming is clean, tidy, and organized. People are easily distracted so if you have a lot going on behind you then you can be sure they will focus on that and not on you!
5. Speak distinctly, clearly, slowly, and with correct grammar– your conference may be viewed around the world. Give those, wherever they may be the opportunity to benefit from your great info by communicating it clearly.
6. Breathe! Take a deep breath or two or three before you start to help focus and calm your nerves.
Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they can’t see you! But then, top performers learn to perform well whether they see their audience or not.
Technical things to check:
- If using Skype, make sure your username and profile picture are professionally appropriate.
- Also for Skype, check your status, and be sure your location is up to date.
- Test out your laptop’s video and audio quality.
- Ensure there is enough light to show your face clearly. (Try to record in front of a window.)
- Check out the background view to make sure your bathing suit isn’t hanging off the shelf.
A video conference or recording is show time. Do your homework, stretch out beforehand and have fun with it. You can share just like you’re having a heart to heart, only no one else is in the room.